MLB: 5 Trades the Yankees and Red Sox Could Make If They Weren't Nemeses
When the Boston Red Sox sent George Herman Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1920 for approximately $200,000, the deal made a lasting impact on the clubs for years to come. If New York had exchanged Joe DiMaggio for Boston’s Ted Williams in 1949, the trade could have drastically turned the baseball landscape upside down.
With that being said, the two clubs drew a line in the sand in 1997 after their last trade occurred. Once catcher Mike Stanley was sent to New York for Tony Armas and Jim Mecir, the teams did their best Roberto Duran impression and said “no mas” between themselves.
As emotions and revenues increase every year, the possibility of a brokerage between the Sox and the Yanks seems as likely as an Obama/Boehner New Year’s Eve gala.
Conversely, if Brian Cashman and Ben Cherington were to go behind closed doors and discuss barters, then what players would be modifying their zip codes?
Robinson Cano for Dustin Pedroia
Put this in the “virtually no chance, but interesting” file. While it may not have the magnitude of a Joe DiMaggio for Ted Williams trade, an exchange of Robinson Cano for Dustin Pedroia would shake the very foundation that Yankees Universe and Red Sox Nation is situated upon.
Dueling for the supremacy of AL East second baseman paramount, both players have attained extraordinary success with their respective teams.
Cano blossomed into arguably the best player on the Yankee squad. In his seven seasons in pinstripes, he has finished batting under .300 just twice and has exhibited a model of consistency, never playing under 159 games since 2006. In addition, the 29-year-old’s overall power numbers are increasing every year in the home run and RBI department.
As important as Cano is to the Yankees, Pedroia might be more valuable to the Sox. Although at first glance, Pedroia appears like a team mascot like Ollie from Hoosiers or Lucas from well…Lucas, the “Laser Show” is the heart and soul of the Boston Bunch.
Capped off by an MVP season in 2008, the 28-year-old has put up a career average of .305 with three All-Star appearances and two Gold Gloves. Not bad for his first full five seasons in the bigs.
While both will be talents in the league for years to come, they will probably never switch their addresses. The ramifications of failure are too immense for each general manager to bear. Besides, it’s doubtful either would want fanbases outside their offices with lit torches and pitchforks
A.J Burnett for John Lackey
Before John Lackey was put on the shelf for the 2012 season, this potential trade was muttered in jest in bars from Jamaica Plain to Jamaica, Queens. An exchange of A.J. “I’m just trying to have fun” Burnett for John “Don’t you dare make an error while I’m pitching” Lackey would be the ultimate switch in futility for both teams.
As both have similar ages (Burnett 35, Lackey 33) and somewhat similar remaining contracts (Burnett $33 million/2 yrs and Lackey $45.75 million/ 3yrs), it’s possible the teams could pull the trigger. Hey, Brian Cashman has made a career of obtaining overpriced pitchers that are past their prime.
In reality, though, both teams have made their beds and now have to sleep in them. In order to make the deal attractive on both ends, each pitcher would have to show some signs of improvement for there to be any hint of reciprocated enticement.
Jesus Montero for Daniel Bard
The most talked-about potential trade piece for the Yankees appears to be catcher Jesus Montero. So what would a trade article be without including him in a hypothetical deal?
However, sending the 22-year-old to Beantown would come at steep price and great risk. By obtaining Montero, the Sox would have to have the chutzpah to put the inexperienced youngster behind the dish. Sure, the Sox have a plethora of backup catchers available to don the catching gear (Saltalamacchia, Shoppach, Lavarnway and possibly Varitek), but with David Ortiz occupying the DH like it’s Wall Street, the only spot for Montero would be catcher.
So, who would the Yankees receive in this transaction?
It appears the Yankees have been dredging through a desert barren of pitchers lately, so a talented young arm would have to be an oasis, instead of a mirage. That’s where Daniel Bard comes into play.
In the 2003 MLB draft, the Yankees saw something they liked in Bard when they selected him in the 20th round and 604th overall. But Bard declined and instead traveled to Chapel Hill and enrolled at UNC. Now for the upcoming 2012 season, the Yankees might want to claim what was rightfully theirs.
While the 26-year-old has been a reliever since Single-A Greenville in 2006, the Yankees could follow suit and convert the righty flamethrower to a starter.
Hey, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
Jon Lester for Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes and Hector Noesi
While the Yankees have been searching for a No. 2 starter in the offseason, some might say they already have one in young Ivan Nova. Last year, he gave the Bombers 16 victories in his first full season with an ERA of 3.70. Sounds promising, right? Well…
Littered in the annals of baseball history are freshman sensations that could never duplicate their initial success. Either their stuff isn’t as good as previously thought or the hitters figure them out and a marginal-at-best pitcher is left standing. If the Yankees want a young ace who has already established himself, they need to look no further up Interstate 95 than Boston and gaze at soon-to-be 28-year-old Jon Lester.
Since 2008, Lester has at least 15 wins and an ERA of 3.47 or lower every year. Adding a lefty ace to a rotation that already stars fellow southpaw C.C. Sabathia would make the Yankees terrifying in a playoff series.
Obviously, it would probably take more than just one successful year out of the 24-year-old Nova to get Lester. The Sox would probably ask for some young talent like reliever Hector Noesi and/or Phil Hughes. In receiving this package, the Red Sox could revamp their starting rotation, which has taken more hits lately than a Cypress Hill concert.
Joining a beleaguered starting rotation, Hughes could possibly benefit from a change of scenery and Noesi could join newly-acquired Andrew Bailey in rebuilding a once-dominant Boston bullpen.
Jacoby Ellsbury for Jesus Montero, Brett Gardner and Others
Imagine an outfield in New York consisting of the third- and fourth-place finishers for the 2011 AL MVP. Envision both Curtis Granderson and Jacoby Ellsbury terrorizing right-handed pitching with a short porch in right field to aim at.
While the Yankees picked up Nick Swisher’s option for 2012, that doesn’t mean they are married to him. It’s possible the Sox could be interested in Swisher, but that remains unlikely. So, what would it take to for Boston to turn over the keys to the 28-year-old center fielder?
Any potential deal would have to involve Montero as the centerpiece. Additionally, the Sox would probably request some sort of combination of Brett Gardner and pitching prospects Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances.
Yet, when Cashman presents a cornucopia of talent to the eyes of the Red Sox, would they consider it?